90 days from today is Wed, 23 October 2024

Hertfordshire Police Federation

An honour and a privilege

5 May 2022

This will possibly be my last message as chair because I have decided to retire after this year’s Police Federation conference, which is on 17 and 18 May, so I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your continued support over the last few years.

It has been an honour and a privilege to chair this branch and represent the most professional, hard-working and dedicated police officers in the service.

It would be disingenuous of me to say I haven't found the job extremely challenging at times and I think keeping an effective Police Federation service up and running throughout the coronavirus pandemic was an achievement in itself.

I have always tried to maintain a focus on officer welfare and work with the Force to streamline and speed up its policies and procedures.

I first put myself forward as branch chair because I was confident I had the skills and abilities to make a difference in the role and hopefully that has been the case.

I have tried to use Police Federation funds in new areas to support members’ wellbeing such as team building days, the respite/welfare holiday homes, the specially-commissioned welfare van and making financial contributions towards counselling.

And I have also strived to be as accessible as possible and make sure members have always felt comfortable approaching me with whatever issues they might have had.

My first role in the Police Federation was back in 2007 when I became an inspector Fed rep for the Western area.

I have enjoyed every minute as branch chair and I am sure I will miss the good people I have worked with over the years.

But I am sure the branch will continue to go from strength to strength and keep pressing for the best possible outcomes on the key issues that matter for the members such as pay and conditions, pensions and officer wellbeing.

I am also confident that Luke Mitchell, who will be taking on the chair’s role, will be a great asset to Hertfordshire Police Federation and its members.

Luke has been a Fed rep for many years and branch vice-chair for four years. An extremely experienced Fed rep and a great communicator, he has already had the experience of negotiating and influencing very senior officers. I have known Luke for more than 22 years and first met him when he was a young cook (and Special Constable) at Watford Police Canteen. He did a great breakfast.

I will sign off now by wishing you all the very best in your future careers. I know we have all been under pressure of late but I know that if the Police Federation moves forward with a sense of unity purpose, things will start to improve in the very near future.

So thanks once again for all your support, stay safe and keep looking out for each other.

I am off to Cornwall where I have four grown-up children and, as of last Friday, six grandchildren. I am going to do a bit of part-time driving instruction and finally… relax.